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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Agriculture||View Options:  |  |  |   

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Kyrene, Kyrenaika, North Africa, c. 37 - 36 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |North| |Africa,| |c.| |37| |-| |36| |B.C.|, |quadrans|NEW
This is perhaps the last numismatic depiction of a silphium plant.

The Crassus in named on this coin cannot be the wealthy triumvirate colleague of Julius Caesar and Pompey, who died in 53 B.C., long before this coinage. This Crassus is almost certainly his grandson, Marcus Licinius Crassus the Younger. He fought with Sextus Pompey but transferred his loyalty to Marc Antony in c. 36 B.C. Under Mark Antony he was responsible for Crete and Cyrene. Shortly before Actium, Crassus defected to Octavian. He was consul in 30 B.C., triumphed in 27 B.C., and died long after.
GB96100. Bronze quadrans, RPC Online I 918 (12 spec.); BMC Cyrenaica p. 64, 26; Asolati 149a-b; SNG Cop 1312; Mller Afrique -, VF, brown tone, well centered, porous, edge cracks/splits, beveled obverse edge, weight 3.366 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, magistrate Crassus, c. 37 - 36 B.C.; obverse KPA (Crassus), head of Libya right, with corkscrew curls; reverse silphium plant, K-Y/P-A (Kyrene) flanking in two divided lines; rare; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 330 - 290 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |330| |-| |290| |B.C.|, |nomos|
Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
SH95240. Silver nomos, Johnston C6; BMC Italy p. 252, 108; SNG ANS 489; SNG Munchen 977; SNG Lockett 421; SNG Fitzwilliam 509; SNG Oxford 760; HN Italy 1589, VF, attractive style, struck with high relief dies, light toning, tight flan, weight 7.524 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 330 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, wreathed in grain; reverse barley ear with seven rows of grains, leaf on left, griffin springing right above leaf, ΛY below leaf, META on right; ex Forum (2013); $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, |dupondius|
Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB92442. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 993; Strack III 1129; BMCRE IV p. 342, * (refs Strack); Hunter II 342; SRCV II -; Cohen II -, gVF, superb portrait and reverse style, attractive toned brass surfaces, marks, some porosity, tight flan, weight 11.118 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, radiate head right; reverse TR POT XXI COS IIII (holder of Tribunitian power 21 years, consul 4 times), Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain downward in right hand, modius at feet left overflowing with grain, rudder in left hand resting on prow at feet on right, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field at center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |440| |-| |430| |B.C.|, |obol|
Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia|, |AE| |34|
Paul the Apostle and Barnabas, as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. Paul's sermon in the Jewish synagogue there caused a great stir among the citizens, but the ensuing conflict with the Jews led to the expulsion of the two Christian missionaries from the city. They returned later and appointed elders for the Christian community there. Paul also visited the region in both his second and his third journeys. Paul's "persecutions and sufferings" at Antioch are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:11. One of the most important building complexes of Antioch is the Great Basilica identified as the "Church of St. Paul" by an altar which was found in Yalvac market place. The foundations at the south side of the basilica are thought to belong to the synagogue where St. Paul first preached to the Gentiles. The altar is dated to the 6th century and the inscription reads AΓIOΣ ΠAYΛOΣ. It is not clear if the basilica was used for another purpose in its earlier levels. Conservation and lifting of the mosaics will shed further light on this important building.St Pauls of Antioch
RP94284. Bronze AE 34, Kryzanowska XII/61; SNG PfPs 93; SNG BnF 1194; SNG Cop 71; SNGvA 4954; BMC Lycia p. 190, 80, Choice VF, nice dark green patina, broad flan, parts of legends weak, small central depressions, weight 24.360 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CAE ANTIOCH COL, Gordian, as priest-founder, plowing with team of oxen to right, two sigla standards in background, S R (Senatus Romanus) in exergue; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander II Zabinas, 128 - 123 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |II| |Zabinas,| |128| |-| |123| |B.C.|, |AE| |22|NEW
Zabinas claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII, but may have been the son of an Egyptian merchant. He was used as a pawn by the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon). Zabinas managed to defeat Demetrius II and thereafter ruled parts of Syria, but soon ran out of Egyptian support and was defeated by Demetrius' son Antiochus VIII Grypus. As a last resort, Zabinas plundered the temples of Antioch. He is said to have joked about melting down a statuette of the goddess of victory, Nike, which was held in the hand of a Zeus statue, saying "Zeus has given me Victory." Enraged by his impiety, the Antiochenes expelled Zabinas, who was captured and executed soon after. "Zabinas" is a derogatory name meaning "the bought one," implying he was Ptolemy's slave.
GY93617. Bronze AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2237.1c, SNG Spaer 2336, Babelon 1310, BMC Seleucid p. 83, 21; HGC 9 1164 (C-S), Choice VF, well centered and struck, brown tone, porous, edge cracks/split, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.433 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 125 - 122 B.C.; obverse radiate and diademed head of Zabinas right, one diadem end flying up behind, the other falling forward over shoulder; reverse double cornucopia bound with fillet, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, A over head of grain in inner left, Π in inner right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

|Perinthus|, |Sabina,| |Augusta| |128| |-| |c.| |136| |A.D.,| |Perinthos,| |Thrace|, |AE| |20|
Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself.
RP92876. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, gVF, nice portrait, uneven patina, a little off center, weight 4.140 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. When Severus Alexander was away on his Persian and German campaigns (231-235) he continuously struck Annona types to indicate his care for the grain supply despite his distance from Rome.
RB92606. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 548, BMCRE V 346, Cohen IV 35, SRCV II 7962, Hunter III -, VF, well centered, attractive style, die wear, edge crack, weight 21.085 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 222 - 231 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI, Annona standing left, veiled, holding stalks of grain in right hand over modius at feet, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|Price| Reduced
This reverse is a good example of how the Romans used the coins as propaganda media: Commodus (who claimed to be Hercules reincarnated) maintains the grain supply (clasps hands with Africa, the largest grain supplier of that time).
RS95351. Silver denarius, RIC III 259a (R), RSC II 643, BMCRE IV 356, Hunter II 67, SRCV II 5687, Choice F, well centered, flow lines, bumps, edge ragged with small splits/cracks, weight 2.544 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 192 A.D.; obverse L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVG (to the foresight of the Emperor), Africa (on left) standing right, wearing elephant scalp headdress, lion crouching right at feet on far side, sistrum in right hand, offering grain to Hercules with right hand; Hercules (on right) standing left, nude, right foot on prow, receiving grain with right hand, club in left hand resting on tree stump; rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $95.00 ON RESERVE


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

|Roman| |Italy| |&| |Sicily|, |Uncertain| |City| |(Panormos?),| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.|, |triens|
In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Munchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00




  



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